Parenting is one of the most difficult tasks in the world. It’s not easy to raise a child and it takes patience, love and understanding. One of the most important parenting tips for babies is that you need to do is to learn how to recognize your baby’s needs. When they cry, they are not just crying for attention. They are telling you that they are hungry, tired or need a diaper change. Once you learn this, it will be much easier for you to take care of them because you will know what they want before they even tell you.
It’s useful to get them onto a feeding and sleep routine as early on as possible. This will better help you understand and preempt their needs, although things won’t always go to plan or to schedule!
Babies also respond well to a routine so try to feed and change them at roughly the same time every day. This way, your baby can find comfort in knowing what is coming next and it won’t be such a big deal when things change from time-to-time.
Creating the perfect baby bedtime routine
There’s always that one parent you know whose baby sleeps through the night from the moment they are born. The baby has regular naptimes and is happy to be put down in their cot while mummy and daddy use the time to catch up on chores or to just enjoy some time together, and the perfect baby bedtime routine.
But, while these babies who love to sleep do exist, it’s more common for parents to have to introduce a routine in order to create sleep patterns that work for their little one. There is a typical amount of sleep that babies need in their first year, however even these averages depend on certain factors, such as how the baby is fed and whether they were premature.
So, while introducing a routine can be beneficial, it’s likely that some flexibility is needed to suit you and your baby. No sleep structure can guarantee the perfect night’s sleep, but here are some ideas to try if you’re looking for inspiration to nail that perfect baby bedtime routine.
Timing is everything
It’s likely you’ve been told that it’s crucial for baby to have X amount of sleep and this can cause new parents to worry about whether their newborn is getting the right amount of rest. However, in those first few days and weeks, both you and your baby are still getting over the birth, so try to not focus on a routine until your little one is around eight weeks.
By timing things out like this, you are allowing your baby to get used to the world and giving yourself some time to settle into life with a newborn. After those initial six to eight weeks, you can then start to incorporate a routine, but this should be short to start with.
There are several ways to let your little one know that bedtime is coming. A soothing bath, dimmed lights, and some soft lullabies playing in the background can all form part of the nighttime routine.
Also, as adults we don’t go to bed in our clothes, and this is no different for our children. Signal that bedtime is coming by popping them into a lovely pair of snuggly baby pajamas after their bath and read an age-appropriate story to them.
There are plenty of classes that you might be tempted to sign up to while your baby is small. One that can be beneficial for helping your baby to sleep is massage. Once you’ve found a trainer who can help to teach you the techniques, you can use the methods to relax your baby. As well as helping to form a bond with them, these soothing motions can ease them to sleep.
Keep it going
Instilling a routine that your baby comes to know is something that you can continue as they get older, too. Up to 30% of children aged between 2 and 5 struggle to sleep, so it’s a common issue that can go on for a few years. While a perfect baby bedtime routine isn’t a failsafe, it can be something your child knows, and this might help to ease them into sleep.
Remember that when it comes to creating the perfect baby bedtime routine this is all trial and error, however, no two babies are the same. One might love a massage while another might prefer a soothing bath. Learn what your baby loves and take their cues.